(noun) The areas of a bird's face on either side from the base of the bill to the front of the eyes. This area can be critical for identification of species with different facial markings, since the lores may show a different color, a stripe or naked flesh that can be useful to properly identify birds. In many species, such as different types of vireos, the color of the lores may connect to eye rings or other markings around the eyes for a "spectacles" effect that can distinguish different species.
In birds where the lores are bare flesh, the shade and intensity of the color can vary to indicate breeding plumage, aggression or external irritation, such as pollution or other stress.
When noting lores for bird identification, look for colors that differ from other facial markings and note the width of any stripes or streaks on the lores. Compare that width to any other eye stripes or markings below, above or behind the eyes to clarify a bird's identity.
Photo – Red-Breasted Nuthatch Lores © David Mitchell